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Selecting a Safe Practice Location
Practice Guide

This area describes several exercises which can be used for your practice sessions. The exercises will help you develop the skills you need to ride in the various traffic situations. It is suggested that you do not attempt these exercises unless you can already perform basic skills, such as using the clutch and throttle correctly, shifting and riding in a straight line. If you do not have these basic skills, we suggest that you be sure to seek instruction before practicing the skills in this guide. We strongly recommend that you take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course. Call 800-447-4700 for the MSF Course nearest to you.

Selecting A Location

  A well-marked parking lot probably is the best practice area. Be aware of grease left by parked cars. Look for parking lots that are not always in use: shopping centers, schools, churches or community centers. You might use a school parking lot in the evening hours, or a shopping center early in the morning. Once you've selected a suitable location, it is important that you gain the owner's permission.

  If the parking lot doesn't have lines, use the dimensions of the Basic Layout. You can mark the parking lot with tape or chalk.

  Traffic will be your greatest concern. Make sure you check to the front, sides and rear, before doing any exercises. Also make sure you watch out for children and animals and be considerate of others in the area.

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Safety Rules

  The practice exercises should not be dangerous. However, a few safety rules should be followed:

  1. Wear proper protective clothing, especially a helmet.
  2. Inspect the motorcycle for defects before you start. If you are not familiar with the inspection procedures for your motorcycle, check the owner's manual.
  3. Check the practice area for loose gravel, glass, grease left by parked cars, or other things that could cause a spill.
  4. If area between lines is not good, use area that cars drive on to get to parking spots.
  5. If possible take a friend along to:
    1. Watch out for traffic.
    2. Help you if anything goes wrong.
    3. Point out mistakes ( if a qualified and experience rider.)
  6. In all of the exercises, keep your head and eyes up.

What To Bring With You

  Bring five or more small objects that you can use as markers. Milk cartons, plastic bottles with a little water or sand. Tennis balls cut in half, etc., also work. If you use small objects, do not leave them at the practice area when finished. If you cannot find small objects, bring some chalk to draw markers on the pavement.  Also be sure to bring some water to drink.

If Riding 2-Up or Pulling a Trailer or Sidecar

  It is suggested that you first practice solo without a trailer or sidecar. After you have performed the practice drill successfully a few times, pick up your Co-Rider, trailer or sidecar and do the drill again.

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